FDA expands emergency use authorization of COVID-19 booster shots


Daily file illustration by Hank Yang

The Food and Drug Administration is now allowing single-use booster vaccine doses for eligible individuals.

Katrina Pham, Assistant City Editor

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded COVID-19 emergency use authorizations on Wednesday to allow for the use of single booster doses for eligible populations.

Booster doses are available with differing eligibility from the Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines, or through a “mix and match” dose — meaning an individual can receive a booster dose that is different from their original dose. The qualifications for booster shot distribution depend on what shot you are getting.

The announcement comes amid new data suggesting waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated, according to an FDA release. FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in the release authorizing boosters is essential to continue protection against COVID-19.

“As the pandemic continues to impact the country, science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19,” Woodcock said in the release.

Individuals 18 through 64 years old and at high risk of severe COVID-19 or experience frequent institutional or occupational exposure to the virus are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna vaccine, as long as it has been at least six months since they received their second dose. The same is true for individuals 65 years of age or older.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster dose can be administered for individuals 18 years of age and older who received their original single-dose at least two months prior.

The Pfizer vaccine booster dose can be administered at least six months after administration of the second dose for individuals 18 through 64 years old who have frequent exposure to COVID-19.

Public health guidelines and guidance are subject to updates as information evolves.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @KatrinaPham_

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